Walmart, Yes, Walmart Is Ready to Land on Heights Blvd.

Note: Story updated below.

A little bird tells Swamplot that Walmart is close to buying a 5-acre piece of land on Heights Blvd. just south of I-10. Formerly on that site: the Sons of Hermann Hall, which was demolished last summer. The property also fronts Yale, and is bounded by the Center St. railroad tracks to the south. Just across the street: the Art Car Museum. If the discount retailer does close the deal and build on the property, it would be the first Walmart-owned store inside the Loop. (Of course, there’s already a Walmart and a Sam’s Club just outside the South Loop; the Sam’s Club is a direct train ride from Downtown.) Also in the works, though much further along: A new Walmart under construction next to Northline Commons, the former site of the Northline Mall.

Update: Reader Nick Banks is already trying out Walmart store models for size:


Later Update: Looks like we were a little off target on the location. Walmart is actually interested in a site one block west.

Photo of 120 Yale St., showing former Sons of Hermann Lodge: Heights Blog

115 Comment

  • This seems like a bad idea!

  • There goes the neighborhood.

  • Cue the knee jerk reactions…

  • There’s also a Sam’s Club just outside the West Loop just south of 59 on S. Rice too!

  • Please tell me this is not happening. Talk about reducing property value.

  • I can’t wait! I feel so stuck up shopping at Target and spending 20 cents more for my tube socks than I should.

  • If there wasn’t a market for it, they wouldn’t build it. MILF’s in pilates pants can still shop at Target and the other people who lived in the neighborhood before the MILFs can shop at Walmart. Don’t worry people, you won’t have to rub elbows with the Walmart crowd any more than you do now.

  • Some people like Wal-Mart. I don’t. But some of their “neighborhood markets” are indeed the lowest prices in town so some who don’t like Wal-Mart like their “neighborhood markets.” I do.

    So maybe this will be a “neighborhood market” which will save quite a few a drive to Spring Branch?

    So maybe the grocery store war is going to get a little interesting Inside the Loop?

  • Wal-Mart has its place, but that place is not on prime real estate. That place is not where it will disrupt neighborhood aesthetics. That place is not in the Heights.
    Instead of calling for zoning, can we trade the Ashby High Rise instead of this?
    The law works like that, right?

  • Add this to the list of things that are making the Heights Less livable for those of us who have been here for longer than most.

  • When should we expect the dollar stores, beeper vendors and nail salons?

  • I know some will think that this is bad for property values, but people are still buying houses next to run down shacks and rusty steel yards in the Washington Ave area. How will a new Walmart hurt property values worse than building a house right on the train tracks?

  • Clearly it wont be a super-center!

  • I find it quite fascinating that any Swamplot article on the Heights seems to get more hits on it than any other.

  • Sorry, but what’s a MILF?

  • where’s our grocery store?

  • @Harold: Really? Ask a 10 year old, they’ll tell ya….not that that’s a good thing.

  • SNOBS! Wanted to point that out. Anyway, flame on, folks – but realize that probably 90% of you complainers will end up purchasing something from that Walmart (if it gets built) someday…

  • awesome, if washington doesn’t want it I’ll trade the new montrose HEB for it.

  • Call me crazy if you’d like, but I personally don’t consider south of I 10 the Heights. This is more of a Washington corridor “problem”

  • Cue the NIMBY brigade, and MILF well…. “Mother I’d like to ….”. Use your imagination, a little crude if you ask me.

  • i’ll be fine with it if they spend a little more in the design/construction of it..

  • This isn’t the Heights.

    Also (not saying that it’s accurate, but) the buzz on HAIF was that Wal-Mart was interested in the land across Yale from this site, which would be more in-line with a Wal-Mart Supercenter format.

  • I recall that lot is 40,000 sq ft and a typical Wal-Mart neighborhood store is 42,000 sq ft, which may be a squeeze on that site with parking etc. They also opened 4 Marketside groceries in Phoenix in 08, about 15,000 sq ft, designed to sell fresh produce and prepared meals. More deli than supercenter. Could be they are looking to test one in Houston – would be far enough away from their own stores to not compete with themselves.

  • The Neighborhood Markets are nice on the inside and look good on the outside. I am excited.

  • Oh, yeah, this tract is much better suited to be a miscellany of overgrown lots and vacant buildings like it is now. Yes, I’m being sarcastic.

  • Instead of calling for zoning, can we trade the Ashby High Rise instead of this?

    I somehow doubt the Pretentious Ones would allow that. And I suspect they would prefer the hirise over a Wal-Mart in an actual trade.

    Amazing how chi-chi the Heights has become. And how quickly Southampton Syndrome spread.

    No doubt the tacky little yellow signs will be seen everywhere.

    “Stop Wal-Mart!”

  • @ The Niche

    The Chron has a posting saying that it is the piece of land across the street, and it will be a Super Center.

  • I vote with the Neighborhood Market folks- that land is not big enough for a Wal-Mart.

    I’m thrilled to know that we are finally! the right demographic for the folks from Bentonville.

  • Wait a second…the Whole Foods is going up on Waugh and then half a mile north they are going to put up a Walmart on Heights!!! That seems a little weird to me. I totally don’t think a Walmart is needed in North Montrose, the Target in Rice Miltary is more than enough to serve the area. To bad the Art Car Museum doesn’t just buy the land and expand the Museum.

  • Remember when Wal-Marts used to be the size of the neighborhood markets?

    Wal-mart ruined the neighborhood market on Long Point by turning it into a “mercado.” Sure, it’s a bit prettier, the signs are bilingual, but anything that’s not geared towards a hispanic consumer is 25-50% more expensive than a neighborhood market and at least 10% more than the nearby Kroger. You don’t offer 5 lbs. of jalapenos for a dollar without making up your margins elsewhere.

  • The Heights aint what it used to be. People used to avoid driving through my neighborhood…because you couldn’t. The number of “improvments” that have lowered my quality of life are staggering.
    A new Walmart, more traffic. The new feeder lanes, more traffic. Redoing Studewood a couple of years ago, more traffic. Widening Yale (when it does happen), more traffic. Redoing N Main St. Tearing down half the houses west of Studewood and building townhomes, more traffic. Building large apartment complexes on Washington, off the I10 Feeder road, north of 20th St, more traffic.

  • Walmart has made significant movement towards fitting stores into the neighborhood asthetic lately. New store electronics sections look like BestBuy and more local products go on the shelves each year. When you trash the Walmart image, in many ways you are trashing the type of people that shop there. The company would not have grown to that size without there being a need. Do you shop at Fiesta on Shepherd? Have you ever been to a Dollar Store? If not, you aren’t in the traditional Walmart demo and you can continue to go to Target. That’s not a bad thing. This is why these two chains have grown, even in the recession. If the folks who get all up-in-arms actually stopped development, Houston would be a barren swamp.

  • Somebody correct me in the strong likelihood that I’m wrong, but it appears from the proposed site plan on the Chron blog that the old apartments just south of the bayou and east of Yale are included in the development, but not the “Dirt Bar” tract and not the Orr Commercial tract directly across from the art car museum. Also looks like they propose cutting Koehler street through to the Boulevard with a new traffic signal.

  • Wal-mart ruined the neighborhood market on Long Point by turning it into a “mercado.” Sure, it’s a bit prettier, the signs are bilingual, but anything that’s not geared towards a hispanic consumer is 25-50% more expensive than a neighborhood market and at least 10% more than the nearby Kroger. You don’t offer 5 lbs. of jalapenos for a dollar without making up your margins elsewhere.

    Don’t overlook a very important aspect of the “mercado” which is we don’t have to put up with you sneering down at us as we shop. So go pay $5 for a pound of jalapenos at Central Market. They’re the same jalapenos. Just a different clientele buying them. A clientele some of us really don’t enjoy shopping with which is why we don’t shop at Central Market.

  • I guess I’m a NIMBY because I like shopping there but don’t want one in my backyard. Traffic’s going to be horrendous. Looks like they’re adding 3 new stop lights on Koehler that don’t exist today.

  • That site plan actually looks very appeasing.

    Seems like WM would have plans to re-pave/widen Bonner, Koehler and Bass st.

    Also, that would probably be a catalyst to commercial development of the other large tracts of unused land in the area as well.

    I’m talking about the Parra office site, the old National Register Building and possibly San Jacinto Stone.

    Bring on WM!

  • Hmmmnnnnnnn kjb34 is awfully quiet about something a mere 2 miles from his Cottage Grove swankienda…….All I can say about Wal-Mart is that I can’t wait to see all the dirty diapers strewn about the parking lot
    while the fattest most slovenly people in a 5 mile radius
    are stampeding the doors for a “rollback” on Little Debbie’s. That is if they can run the gauntlet of hot dog vendors, cellphone bandits and assorted hawkers selling puppies, parrots and panties in the nether regions of the parking lot.

  • Well one more reason I’m moving out of Rice Military to be another of the happy smiling faces of the gentrification of Alden Place/Avondale West, which of course puts me squarely down the street from the new Whole Foods (oh yay).

  • It just cracks me up some of the obnoxious, snobby and foolish comments that are made on here. Yet, there are some reasonable thoughts recorded as well. That property is essentially an eyesore as it sits now, with virtually no residential development adjacent to it, waiting for a large commercial development to be built.

    Walmart is a great addition to a neighborhood that desperately needs a grocery store. I shop at a Walmart Supercenter for groceries all the time at the lake. I dare say that you naysayers will be eating your words when the store proves to be a great competitor for that Kroger in Merchants Park on Shepherd. Another thing you all may not realize is that Walmart matched competitors prices in their ads.

    I also applaud Walmart’s hard stance against the poison that is today’s collective bargaining agreements, prevalent in chains like Kroger.

  • All I can say about Wal-Mart is that I can’t wait to see all the dirty diapers strewn about the parking lot
    while the fattest most slovenly people in a 5 mile radius
    are stampeding the doors for a “rollback” on Little Debbie’s. That is if they can run the gauntlet of hot dog vendors, cellphone bandits and assorted hawkers selling puppies, parrots and panties in the nether regions of the parking lot.

    Well go put up your tacky little yellow sign. Just remember they have to shop somewhere. If they run out of places to shop they may have to shop at Central Market.

  • It isn’t all about the price CK. I have shopped in Wal-Mart and found it to be dirty,
    cumbersome and not worth the time to save a few dollars. If that makes me a snob, so be it. That’s why with every level of product, you have a a good, better and best retailer.
    If you like Wal-Mart, they are working hard to save you money.

  • Just building some ‘Thing’ upon an idle/vacant/run-down plot of land doesn’t make that plot Better.
    Open, green, flowered, sunny views, as well as dog-walking spots, add value to the area’s residents.
    This WalMart location will draw customers off I-10, and may not affect neighborhood traffic quite as much as feared by neighbors.
    But I foresee the Wash-Sawyer area becoming a high-rise residential center in the next 20 years.

  • There is definitely a underserved market within the Loop for large stores like this. The Target on Taylor St. is relatively convenient for me, but if there’s any kind of construction, accident, or festival downtown, it’s nearly a 20 minute drive to get to a store like this.

    That said, I sympathize with people who live near this site and hope that they don’t have room for a Supercenter. I hope it’ll be smaller.

  • Just about the worst news I’ve heard in a while. Walmart is a dump; a shitty company that sells crap at ridiculous markups. The stores are dirty, the staff – well nevermind. After several visits years ago, and after being routinely disgusted with its corporate polices – especially towards its own employees, I promised to never spend another time in a Walmart owned store.
    For more than 10 yrs, I’ve not spent a dime in any of the Walmart variations or Sam’s. I actually went into one last April with a friend and was shocked at how dirty, messy, and disorganized the place was, how incredibly poorly made so much of the products were, and how high the prices were for things not on an endcap. The only things that were cheap were the masses of processed foods that are the likely culprits that keep so many of Walmart’s customers obese.
    Walmart belongs outside the loop; is nothing sacred anymore?

  • John,

    Could you expand more on your assessment of the poorly made products that Walmart sells? Did you actually use the products per the packaging instructions? If so, then I’m not shopping there. Also, the Walmart that I patronized (unfortunately) outside the loop was akin to the Wild West. It seemed like the Walmart staff said the hell with it, anything goes! Absolutely disgusting! I also agree with the endcap comment. They “rollback” the prices on B-rated DVDs, but completely mark up their AA batteries compared to the Dollar Store. What a scam! What is the world coming to when investors take an industrial wasteland and turn it into something people can use? God help us all!

    I’m with John, no Walmart inside the loop!

  • What chain doesn’t carry mostly foreign made stuff?

    Do Target inspectors travel to foreign factories to check on worker treatment? Does CVS force vendors to reduce packaging? Can you name another company that will pay all expenses for any employee or employee spouse to finish high school? WalMart does those things.

    I’m just saying that hating WalMart is easy, but let those who don’t buy cheap foreign made stuff cast the first stone.

  • My, my, my! There’s nothing like a inner-loop big box store threat to get you Swampies pounding your keyboards. Yes, WalMart is the evil empire, exploiting its employees, attracting spam-sucking trailer trash and offering cheap merchandise at a self-proclaimed discount. But this will be a new store. It will at least START clean, and if all you nay-sayers stay in management’s face about it, it will stay that way.

    You can’t do anything about WHO shops there, any more than you can choose who you see at Target or the Dollar Store. If you want to shop with pretty people, you have to be willing to pay pretty prices.

    And yes, ANYTHING on that lot will be better than leaving it vacant. Its not a pretty park or a playground; its a convenient place for the neighbors to walk their dogs without having to feel guilty about not picking up the excrement.

  • I pass that location twice a day and they have been moving earth for a month already getting ready for a foundation. They also (assume it was them) painted the area around the train tracks, red, white and blue. I don’t care if it is Wal-Mart b/c anything is better than a rat infested squatters place that is an eye-sore. This place will be bringing in new tax revenue and hopefully it will call for re-paving Yale. Keep it south of I-10 out of the heights and I have no problem. I look forward to saving money there and just hope they keep it clean.

  • Wow! I do not understand why Wal-Mart brings out the “hatin” and induces people to post ignorant and uninformed comments. What is it about a company that provides jobs with decent wages, opportunity for advancement and health benefits that upsets people? No collective bargaining agreement? How unenlightened of Wal-Mart. Can they not see what collective bargaining agreements did for the auto manufacturers and Kroger?!?!?

    As Claire de Lune correctly points out you can’t do anything about who shops at a store. Do a comparison of the cliental at the Target on San Felipe vs. Taylor. Get over it snobs. Stores cannot ban minorities and people of lower socio economic status that you find so unappealing.

  • In all seriousness, do people not realize how many dumpy/disgusting/gross/rat-infested lots that there are in Heights proper? Quite a few…It’s not like the freaking Heights is a pristine and clean place to begin with. I like the area, but it has its fair share of eyesores. Walmart is an upgrade over that site, period. If you have ever driven in a half mile radius from that site, then you would understand.

  • To the people bitching about Wal Marts treatment of its employees – have you ever worked for a mom and pop retailer? The pay is shit, there are typically no benefits and zero chance at upward mobility. Before we start getting pissy at Wal Mart, look at the alternatives.

    That being said, I don’t want a Wal Mart near me. It brings a shit ton of poor people and poor people bring down the neighborhood aesthetics and bring up crime. Just ask the owners of the Meyer Park what that Wal Mart did to that retail center.

    Stop filling this page with bullshit about jobs and traffic – this is all about poor people mucking up a neighborhood we’ve been trying to class up.

  • NorhillJoe hits the nail on the head. The my-nose-bleads-when-I-go-outside-the-loop-my-shit-doesn’t-stink crowd shows their true obnoxious colors in threads like this. The Washington corridor desperately needs a grocery retailer like the plague. Comments were made about how Target provided adequate grocery shopping for the area. Obviously they don’t cook. Relying on Whole Foods for all of your grocery needs is also about as bright as tearing up Washington Ave. and Center St. to put in a taxpayer funded light rail line.

  • Classy post Cd.

  • Just saying what all these critics are thinking.

  • CD I have worked for mom and pops. They may not have been able to offer great benefits, but they cared about me as a person, not as a “cost factor”.

    We need these small businesses to keep producing jobs offering full-time hours. Walmart puts the little guys out of business, hires their workers, cuts hours then shows the the workers how to apply for gov. assistance. Low prices supplemented by tax dollars while Walmart takes home the profits. And don’t even get me going on how US manufacturing jobs went overseas starting with Walmart after Sam died.

    Sorry, I’m done.

    They can open the Walmart. It is a free market. I just won’t shop there.

  • “It just cracks me up some of the obnoxious, snobby and foolish comments that are made on here.” Then you go on to rant and rave about unions and collective bargaining? How much class division would you want, the rich and the working poor? Damn glad places like Krogers have their unions, it establishs a good living wage, good benefits, and some general protection of the workers from the corporate goons that don’t care about anything short of a profit.

  • And what about WalMart’s $4 generic prescription, which every other chain followed, thereby saving people billions on health care costs, doing more immediate good for more people in need than anything that has come out of Washington.

  • @cm
    “Damn glad places like Krogers have their unions, it establishs a good living wage, good benefits, and some general protection of the workers from the corporate goons that don’t care about anything short of a profit.”

    Yep, and because of all that the union creates apathetic workers that eventually suck all the corporate profits away in entitlements, and eventually put themselves out of business leaving everyone without a job.

  • Walmart’s $4 generic drug program was not created to be altruistic. It was created to funnel pharmacy business to them so that folks who also rely on drugs that are not available as generics would go ahead and piggyback. Then Walmart pretty much blackmails the Pharma wholesalers to drop their prices because they are the biggest gorilla in the marketplace and threaten to not carry their products. So the little pharmacies are forced to follow suit and operate on thinner margins
    and the only one making a decent profit is Walmart. That tag line “we’re working hard to save you money” is such a joke.

  • hells yes!!! getting my shotguns and hunting knives just got alot easier. hell, getting everything just became alot eaiser. thank you jesus, my low prices prayers have been answered. have you ever had there deli fried chicken, that shit rocks! plus there clothes are so cheap, you don’t even need to wash them, just dispose of them, and buy some more. And there open 24 hrs, take that and stuff it in you over priced starbucks coffee Target. ‘merica rulzzzz

  • Thank you JT. Blackmailing the wholesalers and manufacturers and forcing moves to China has spread across retail due to Walmart’s lead and everyone trying to compete with them.

    Could you imagine what things would be like here if “Made in the USA” was still marked on most of Walmart’s products like in their beginning?

    OK, I’m done ranting.

  • @cm obviously you don’t have a clue what unions in this country have devolved into. It isn’t about “the rich” and protecting their money pots, it’s about average workers getting taken advantage of by union thugs skimming off the average joe. Collective bargaining started off as a useful concept. That useful concept was bastardized long ago. Some of the most corrupt organizations in this country right now are unions. Walmart may not be the most pristine employer anymore, but I’ll take them over an SEIU or Teamster thug any day. Ever had battery acid poured over your car by a union thug? I’ve witnessed it first hand. Don’t even get me started on the uselessness of unions for governmental employees. Talk about poison.

  • Whoa, are you guys complaining about lower prices on prescriptions? And forcing someone to lower their prices and passing on savings is a good thing for consumers.

  • Cd, savings are a good thing, yes, up front. But looking at the long-term, those who chased the savings now end up losing their manufacturing jobs later when company margins suffer and budget cuts ship their jobs to India.

    Save some money now just to lose all the money later.

    I don’t have any answers though.

  • Outsourcing, off shoring, etc is happening with or without Wal Mart. One world, bro. We should be happy that our friends overseas are making a living (by THEIR country’s standards)

  • UGH!!! Because we dont already have enough shopping carts laying along the sides of the road. If this was the burbs fine, but not in the middle of neighborhood like the Heights! THE WORLD DOES NOT NEED ANOTHER WAL-MART!

  • From Matt Mystery:

    Don’t overlook a very important aspect of the “mercado” which is we don’t have to put up with you sneering down at us as we shop. So go pay $5 for a pound of jalapenos at Central Market. They’re the same jalapenos. Just a different clientele buying them. A clientele some of us really don’t enjoy shopping with which is why we don’t shop at Central Market.

    Matt, you miss my point. I’m not looking down at hispanics or their shopping habits- The “Supermercado de Wal-Mart” might offer inexpensive mexican staples, but they gouge these same latinos by drastically marking up everything else in the store. Sure, cheap jalapenos, but milk at $3.98 a gallon when it’s $2.38 at HEB? $1.98 for cookies they sold for 88 cents before the store makeover? Seems they’re penalizing the customers they pretend to be reaching out to- everyone was better off when the place was a regular neighborhood market.

  • JT- Yes Walmart wanted to build traffic. Is that wrong? The end result is billions saved for sick people. even those who go to Walgreen, CVS, etc.

    NOT made in America –Don’t blame Walmart. US manufacturing has been on a downward slope since 1943! (check the graph)

    If you want to blame someone for China taking over our economy, how ’bout Nixon? He made the first overtures to the Commie menace. And it was under Dubbya that those godless heathens began to float this nation’s debt.

  • Furthermore, if American employers were not saddled with having to pay our health insurance costs, they would be able to lower prices and better compete globally and at home.

  • Man, first valet, now Walmart. Definitely pushing our buttons :)

    Have a wonderful 4th everyone.

  • Unions are corrupt but not more so than the average corporation. Unions represent people not faceless profit mongering companies. Big business is necessary, but is also the epicenter of outsourcing, sending labor, durable good manufacturing overseas. Last I checked not everyone stateside is well suited for a “service” job, and the manufacturing/durable goods section used to be the backbone of our economy. You want to look at problems loo what corporations have done to the American worker for the last 30 years (thanks Ronnie and your s*** economic ideas).

    The Washington corridor needs a Wal-Mart about as badly as I need a steady supply microwavable pork rinds.. :-)

  • Please sign the petition to keep Wal-Mart away from the inner loop:

    There is a facebook page as well:

  • OMG…

  • @finness – at least we have had choice in our healthcare, compared to government-ally rationed healthcare as it is in countries with socialized medicine. The reason US healthcare is expensive is because of all of the shortchanging the governmental programs force upon the medical community. It would be nice if all of you pro-socialized medicine groupies had your facts right.

    @JohnC – good gawd, try and find a retailer that doesn’t target a specific set of demographics and tailor their pricing accordingly. How do you people function from one day to the next?

    @cm – While there are certainly some corporations that do not conduct themselves ethically, almost every union in existence in the US is about as corrupt as you can get. One of the big pushers of the con that is Obamascare has been the big unions, because of their criminal bogus accounting practices, they have been trying to get out from under their massively underfunded health and welfare benefits and saddle us American taxpayers with funding it instead.

  • Wow. A lot of you peoples are just idiots.

  • Is Rice Military not concerned about this? Or are they too far away.

    I don’t live on that side of town but may shop there from time to time in my wanderings. I have, after all, been to Sawyer Target twice since it opened.

    It just seems to me that all this posturing about petitions and such may be too late for the game.

    If Walmart has already started breaking ground as has been mentioned either here or on HAIF, (can’t remember which) well, it’s probably a done deal.

    You might start working on HEB though.

  • I am not equipped to determine whether this particular Wal-Mart is “needed” or not (is there anyone here who is?) My family and I don’t really shop at Wal-Mart and I definitely don’t find it aesthetically appealing. If it turns out that it’s not wanted and no one shops there, it will close down, otherwise, if it is wanted, why should my personal aesthetic preferences take precedence over all?

  • From markd:
    Wow. A lot of you peoples are just idiots.

    An understatement.

  • I do not know how citizens could be not this idea. In the country where I am from this is blessing. Lazy fat americans do not know how to kiss a gifted hourse in the mouth so to speek.

  • All I have to say is that if Wal-Mart is closing on the site, then all the bitching and moaning won’t do anything.

    Pretty much all the arguments against Wal-Mart are the same non-fact based arguments that have been used before over and over again. The only thing is that a lot of people still shop there including some that have protested against it.

    Massive negative ad campaigns have been thrusted upon Wal-Mart in many markets when they try to build. Ultimately it gets built and they are very busy. The reality is that most shoppers are looking for the discount and all the baseless arguments against Wal-Mart don’t ressonate with them.

    Also, if you truly know someone who worked at Wal-Mart with the intention of succeeding in life you’ll know that they move up quite fast in that company. It’s not unusual for a low level staffer who shows a good work ethic to be a division or overall store manager in a few years. The workers at Wal-Mart that may not impress you are the ones that wouldn’t work hard anywhere they tried.

    Ultimately, Wal-Mart has done more for the poor in the country than any government program has ever tried to do. Providing jobs in economically depressed areas. Making life affordable for many in society is not a crime.

    I also find it so hilariously funny at how people go on bashing Wal-Mart yet they easily put all there faith in a few elitist non-elected bureacurats and elected officials in government who do more to ruin this country than big businesses. Remember, big businesses interfere (loby) with governments when governments interfere with them. Great example is the current financial crisis. Banks didn’t cause it. Hapless government intervention (by both parties) created the situation and all depressions or recessions we have faced in this country.

    So I say to Wal-Mart, “Welcome to the neighborhood and I hope you receive all the success you earned.”

  • kjb34,
    Did you excerpt part of your post from Wal-Mart’s public outreach page? It reads like something a PR hack would send as a press release! That said, why should’nt people bitch and moan if a monolith sea of asphalt
    without landscaping surrounding an undistinguished warehouse invades their gentrifying neighborhood? Wal-Mart rarely dresses up their buildings and property unless compelled by a more regulated city (they aren’t pretty sites in Houston proper). The interesting aspect would be if it could be determined if this will actually create more net jobs (outside of the construction phase)and net tax revenue rather than bastardize Target, Kroger, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Houston Garden Center and various other existing businesses.

  • Ultimately, Wal-Mart has done more for the poor in the country than any government program has ever tried to do. Providing jobs in economically depressed areas. Making life affordable for many in society is not a crime.


    It’s not a crime as long as you keep Wal-Mart “out of sight, out of mind…”

    It’s a class thing. And a racial thing.

  • JT,

    Wal-Mart will be required to place landscaping as part of city rules. The neibhorhood can work with Wal-Mart (novel idea) to ensure that they use something other than Crape Myrtles.

    Wal-Mart building there is inevitable. Why not work with them. In many communities, Wal-Mart has worked with them to make their properties more appealing.

    I wish people would get off the hate train and actually learn the truth before just spouting dribble from websites or what their web friends post.

    Many of the rants against Wal-Mart or any business on here are cut paste of the same baseless arguments that have been pushed around for years by anti-American folks. The sad part is the people pushing those points now are intellectually vapid and don’t know the source of their rage. Either that or they agree whole heartedly with that source.

  • The sad part is the people pushing those points now are intellectually vapid and don’t know the source of their rage. Either that or they agree whole heartedly with that source.

    It’s a class thing. A racist thing. “Ricardo” a perfect example.

  • Matt,

    I believe class is a big deal. Deep down, the abhorrence to Wal-Mart has nothing to do with the company but to the shoppers that go to the store. People need to get off their high horse. They try to throw out criticims that these stores are sub-standard, dirty, inferior. They are really projecting their feelings about the stereotypical shopper.

    This is what really bothers me about the objection to this being built. This location can and will serve a large group of people that have had limited access to lower priced goods. Target was a good step at this access. The Wal-Mart will give more choice to people who’ve had few choices to begin with in access to affordability.

  • I wonder how many of those who sign the petition against Wal-Mart, because they are evil “corporate goons” and do not want unions with collective bargaining, employ yard crews and domestic help who have no benefits? Those petition signers are ok with that as long as the great unwashed leave once the work is done and not shop in any stores in the neighborhood.

  • Gentrification of neighborhoods is usually both a class and a racial thing as I we saw in Fourth Ward and to a degree in other neighborhoods until the economy intervened.

    “Out of sight, out of mind” is the rule of the ruling class. Or at least those who want to be perceived as the ruling class.

  • “all the arguments against Wal-Mart are the same non-fact based arguments that have been used before over and over again.”

    Hey kjb434- You are talking out of your ass.

    Wal-Mart kills Main Street.

    Once Wal-Mart came to the N.Louisiana Parish where I grew up, many of the downtown business in most all of the small country towns in that area just vaporized. Grocers, hardware stores, pharmacies, gas stations… family businesses, some of which had existed for generations.

    But the trailer trash just loved it.

  • markd,

    Which parish/small town? I spent a lot of time up in N. Louisiana going to college.

    Homer, Farmerville, Bastrop, Jonesboro, Winnfield, Minden?

  • kjb-

    Wal-Mart came to Farmerville, in Union Parish. It killed off most local businesses with predatory pricing.

    We lived at Dean, which backed up to the Ouachita River bottom-lands.
    (About 20 or so miles northeast of Farmerville.)

  • That’s the key “predatory pricing.” And it definitely is fact.

    Price items at a loss sustainable by your corporation’s fat wallet, knowing that you can push the little guys out of business. Then when the little guys are gone and you’re the only game in town, raise the prices back up and hire the displaced workers at a lower wage and fewer hours because they now have no other options. Promote just a very few and donate a little to spread “good will.” And make sure you use it in your advertising.

    Seen it myself too. Small town USA the Walmart way. That’s why I won’t shop there. And it has nothing to do with “the unwashed”.

    You can call it competition in an open market, I call it greed. Wipe out small communities in the chase for more profit now, then move on to other areas of the country (and now the world) and do it again. Like locust.

  • Ok,

    So who will Wal-Mart be pricing out of the market at this location?

    Also, the concept of competitive (what yall are calling predatory) pricing has been around for as long as man has sold goods.

    Before large businesses, small ones did it too. At one Fiesta was the major player in many areas of the city. HEB was once the small time player also. Both these companies had to be competitive. There is nothing wrong with dropping the price on some goods to entice buyers and then make it up on other products. That is essentially the business model for ALL grocers where profit margins are extremely thin to begin with.

    The items Wal-Mart (and Target, Costco, Whole Foods, HEB, etc) underprice are typically low margin items or items that people regularly purchase.

    Is Kroger evil when the reduce the price of port tenderloin be 50% for a week? Target and Kroger typically go back an forth on 12 packs coke and pepsi products.

    In Houston, the small time stores that would be hurt from big time competitors have been gone a long time ago. The ones that are still around have their dedicated customers. If a mom and pop shop closes down, it wasn’t because a big retailer dropped the price on a few items. If the items at the big store are lower across the board, then the mom and pop shop will have to adjust are fail. This is business. Before big time grocers existed, small time ones competed in the same way by competitively pricing each other.

    Also, many of the small towns that get Wal-Mart end up having a net positive. What the town lost in the small store and a few jobs and little property tax revenue is replaced many times over by the Wal-Mart.

    Markd’s Farmville sencario failed to mention that the city of Farmerville coffers became flushed with cash they didn’t have before. The city is doing well financially in my last outing to Lake D’Arbonne State Park in 2004. It was doing great all through my years in college with the Wal-Mart there. A couple of fast food restaurants have moved into that town in that time also. The town gained way more jobs than it lost and a healthier financial outlook.

  • Main Street is all well and good, but have you bought anything from a mom and pop hardware store or sporting goods store? Egads, man, talk about gouging.

  • But have you noticed the quality of the products they stock in comparison to Walmart? You usually get what you pay for. In quality and service too. Try asking a kid at Walmart to explain how to use a specific plumbing part. Or which aluminum softball bat is best for a specific gender, weight and swing.

    Oh well. Like I said, it’s a free market, I’m just not shopping there and I’m opinionated. I’ll stick with the mom and pops. Knock yourself out though.

  • I have two questions—
    1. Exactly what badness is WalMart engaging in that is not done by other major chain stores?

    2. Gus – What story has garnered the most comments in the Swamplot’s history?

  • 1. Other major retailers haven’t been known to specifically target small towns like Walmart has.

    2. All the stories that bring out us goofy, overly-opinionated Heights chi-chi’s :) Though most of my friends just call me a hippie.

    How many comments does this one make?

  • Heights Weirdo,

    Plenty of retailers have done and are doing this. In the south before Wal-Mart was big, plenty of chain retailers have targeted small towns. Ever heard of Piggly Wiggly? Winn Dixie? DelChamps (been bought out)? These stores have shut out “mom and pop” stores back in the 40s-60s. Wal-Mart has come into town where some of these stores have pulled out or towns that had no access to a grocer or store with this variety of goods.

    To put a more nationally known brand (that doesn’t exist now) that did a similar thing as Wal-Mart would be Woolworths and Montgomery Ward. They weren’t grocers, but were general goods stores and moved into town and forced small time general good stores to shut down.

    You can even say Fiesta and HEB have done this in Texas to small towns. When they moved in, many of these town had no grocer or a separate drug, general store, and butcher. Fiesta and HEB gave a one stop place and forced many small stores to shut down also.

    Wal-Mart isn’t doing anything new. They just do it bigger and better than everybody else, but they started small like all the others. When you’re on top, you become the guy with the targe on your back. Target, K-Mart, Costco, etc all engage in competitive (predatory) pricing and other tactics to COMPETE against others.

  • Yep, you are right, they are doing it bigger, making them a target. “Doing it better I have to disagree with you on.

    I’m just not in a very forgiving mood for corporations in general of late.

    That’s why I’m just a “big hippie” (said in a voice like Fred Sanford):)

    How many comments now? Narcassism(sp) rules!

  • I promise this is my last comment. Sam Walton started out with an ideal I admired: a great American company carrying great American-made products whenever possible. Somehow, his family decided that it was all about chasing the mighty dollar after he died. Massive amounts of the mighty dollar. It’s become the battle cry for our market-driven society and Walmart has been one of the many companies leading the way.

    And I don’t know if we are any better off for it.

    Enough out of me already. Have a nice evening everybody.

  • This is a great idea! Target prices will go down to compete with wally. I Love capitalism! I pray they open a 99 cent cleaners. I may go to work there! yes!!!!!!!

  • This sounds very similar to a situation in 2002 and 2003. I was part of a group in Northwest Houston that fought Walmart. The store was to be built on West road and Belt Way 8 directly across from Gleason Elementary. Walmart can be stopped! We were successful in doing this by writing everyone in and around our direct legislature. We protested outside an adjacent Walmart and the elementary school so everyone could see what a traffic snarl it would cause. Keep fighting!! You can do it!!

  • we need a walmart in the heights

  • It’s not always the big stores that kill the mom and pops. At least not in Texas. It’s the super highways.

    When I-10 was built between Houston and San Antonio, the small downtowns on 90 began to decline. The interstate was there and so came the restaurants and guess what!! Service Stations.

    All those little towns from Katy to Flatonia, Seguin and beyond, they all had service stations on 90 to serve the driving public. Not now.

    So, what I’m saying is that there will hopefully always be progress. With progress comes change. Those little Hwy 90 stations moved to the interstate or closed down.

    So went the little downtown bbq places, hamburger cafes and such. They enlarged and moved to the edge of town or shut down. Progress.

    When a town has a population of 2500 or less, it’s difficult for the local population to support 3-4 downtown gas stations or restaurants on a daily basis.

    If I-10 wasn’t right there CLOSE to (but not IN) the Heights, I doubt that Walmart would even look at Washington/Yale.

  • Are you serious? I live in Woodland Heights, but a Wal-Mart? YUCK!
    Have you guys seen all the TRASHY people that pollute that store? And YES! Walmarts will decrease your property value! Just ask the citizens of Chicago and Los Angeles about the fight to keep this chain of trash out. I keep hearing everyone say, “oh, yeah Walmart is cheaper” – only when they force you to buy what’s in their limited stock inventory. Yes, Walmart is very limited to what they sell vs. the generic brand that they own. So, If recall, WalMart was never welcomed to be in the City Loop limits due to increased city-business tax imposed that they felt they should be exempt from. I remember Mayor White would not exempt them because Walmart felt they were bringing jobs to the city & should not pay city taxes.
    To see the trash that Walmart will bring, go to:

    enough said.

  • I mean- do you have any idea how much just one pair of acid washed jeans can diminish a neighborhood? Add LA Gear shoes and Bedazzled jackets and entire civilizations come crashing down.

    I would like to suggest we deputize. Now, I admit, I have long wanted to be the head of the Architectural Abomination Squad, but I would give that up to become Chief of the Taste Police.

    I am already looking at YOU, fake designer bag toters!

  • I am tired of driving 25 miles to get to a walmart. Also i like to save money and gas since america is in a long ression.

  • phillip: Where do you live? Obviously not in Houston, since there are over 20 Wal-Marts in the Houston area, 20 of which are 15 miles or less from Downtown Houston. Wal-Mart just broke ground on a location at I-10 and Silber, less than five miles from the proposed Yale location.

    Houston has plenty of Wal-Marts, we do not need another one (or any other “Big Box” store) inside the loop.

  • 25 miles? The location on 290 is 10 miles away.

  • The argument that one is less than 5 miles from the other as an example that there will be too many Wal-Marts is silly at best.

    The Target at San Felipe and the Loop is the same distance from my house as the new Targe at Taylor. I would never go to the one at San Felipe since although the same distance takes twice as long to get too.

  • 10 miles on 290 just seems like 25.

  • Don’t forget about the new Wal-Mart at I-45 & Crosstimbers. Depending on where you live in the Heights its much closer. Its 3 miles from my house.

  • Also, if you’ve been to any of the Wal-marts that are “close” to the Heights right now, you would realize how overcrowded they are.

    Every time a purchase is made by credit card or debit card, the zip code information that is stored in the card magnetic strip is logged (all stores have this information and not just Wal-Mart). Wal-Mart likely notices the amount shoppers from other areas shopping at their stores which provides some research in located new stores. It’s not the only information they use, but it does play a part in the process.

    Target likely noticed the same pattern with many shoppers at its San Felipe store all having 77006, 77007, and 77008 zip codes.

    Unless you have a background demographics research for placement of commercial retail/restaurant space, you really don’t have a grasp of what criteria are needed to sustain a store. Lord know I don’t have that background, but just because an exact same store just 5 miles down the road exists doesn’t mean no more can be supported.

    We need one close to the innercity…
    About time!